We need to talk.

Are these words EVER welcome?

Sure they are. If following this statement is advice on how to improve, then they should be welcomed. I have had instances where the words following that statement has been notification of a large bonus I was going to receive. Sometimes it is an opportunity that you may not want to pass up.

Yes. When the recipient of those words is someone who prefers difficult truths over comforting lies.

It’s much better than the words “I love you, BUT.”

I despised those words when I was married, because basically they were uttered when I was on my way out the door to work or something.

Look, if you have something to say then say it. Don’t leave me hanging on for 9 or 10 hours before you spring your shit on me.

Perhaps waiting till I got home and saying “Hey, about last night…” would have been a better plan.

Heh. The OP strikes me as some sort of counterpart to the recent thread asking whether the voices that schizophrenic people here are ever comforting and supportive.

But maybe that’s not the best way to view one’s closest relationships. :o:p

It depends among other things on whether the line ends there.

“We need to talk.” Oy vey…

“We need to talk about your grades.” Yes, Dad, I know they’re horrible. They’re always horrible. It doesn’t matter if I’ve had the highest grade in the class, or if I’ve improved my average, or whatever. They’re not 100% across the board therefore they’re horrible. It would be nice or at least less dreadful if you could just tell, dunnow, a barman or something, instead of going into detail with me for half an hour every single time my grades come in.

“We need to talk about what to have for lunch on Saturday” (when so-and-so is coming to visit). OK, yeah, it’s helpful to be able to dish out the menus with someone else, specially if the visitors have any food issues the household normally doesn’t.

I used to love saying that to my kids. And then sitting down and just saying “What is it you wanted for your birthday, again?” Or something similar. Every now and then I would throw in a complaint. I liked keeping the rug-rats on their toes.:slight_smile:

I once texted “We need to talk” to my gf. When she got home she had a very sad/serious demeanor. She’d been wondering all day what exactly needed discussing and was contemplating worst case scenarios. She was releived to find out that I just meant we needed to hang out and chat after a very busy previous two days. She hit me but not that hard.

Bored and high, I once texted “WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU” to dozens of my contacts. Lots of freaked out replies from friends who thought they’d forgotten to meet up, or left me stranded. It has become a meme for us.

Sometimes. Those words have been used to me before giving me some good news as well. “We need to talk – how about if I double the contract I offered you?” Call it a coin-flip over the course of my life.

It’s much better than having a SO that is mad at you and wont tell you why.

Of course they’re not welcome. That’s why it’s “we need to talk” instead of “we want to talk”. Not everything that’s good for you is a pleasant experience.

It’s like a memo left on your desk from your boss that says, “See me.” It’s a way to exert power and control.

Talking is good. I’m all in favor of talking. But if I feel we need to talk, I just start talking.

When my wife says, “We need to talk,” it’s code for “We have a problem that you need to solve.”


Mr.Wrekker doesnt take subtle clues very well. It works better to say to him “we have a problem” his usual response is “no, you have problem you want me to fix”. Which is generally true. He is good about fixing the issue, once informed. Talking? Not so much.

Oh man I hated that! Best boss I’ve ever had in terms of reasonableness, fairness, and competence used t do that. Always with the damned sticky note or email or IM, “See me.”

Sometimes he’d have a woodshed moment planned, sometimes it was just something urgent he wanted me to fix, sometimes it was straight good news. But I never knew which until I got there. Invariably, however, I’d turn up at his office and say, “There. I see you! Can I go now?” It was a consciously impudent refusal to be power-tripped, and I think he appreciated that, even when he was wanting to rip my hide off.

Or more precisely, you have a problem you need to take care of.

Fortunately I hear that line only rarely from Mrs. J. More often, I get an uh-oh sensation when I hear her say “Honey?” ♪ ♫

It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I’m really, really good at sensing when my gf is getting close to “we need to talk”. If I’ve been lazy and letting things slide, I can sense her mood like a subtle change in atmospheric pressure. Before she erupts, I do some major yard work, make her favorite dinner, bathe the dogs, and send her flowers. The meter resets.

Yes!! Me too. It’s amazing, but I can always sense the subtleties as you describe them. Better to head things off before the “talk” than to try to fix things after.